March 24, 2011


me+ME: Varia: Addressing, Phoenix, Madness

Today I have just three items:

  1. Addressing women in English
  2. Phoenix Rising changes address
  3. Dreambirdie addresses the madness of some patients

1. Addressing women in English

As I explained yesterday, a correspondent mailed me to explain that I had been addressing Ms. Amy Dockser Marcus inappropriately, namely as if she were a Mrs.

Well, indeed I am sorry, and I also have changed it today, but for a Dutchman without TV since 1970 and without having spend time in England since 1984, and never having been in the US, the proper modern usage when addressing women in English was not very clear, especially since, having learned English in the early 1960ies, I confused "Miss" and "Ms", while in Dutch the proprieties are precisely the opposite of what they are, or seem to be, in English.

The explanation for modern English usage are here:

  • Ms (<- Wikipedia)

of which the first paragraph is as follows (quoted minus some pronunciation details and notes):

Ms (UK) or Ms. (USA, Canada) (..) is an English honorific used with the last name or full name of a woman. According to The Emily Post Institute, Ms. is the default form of address for women, regardless of marital status, in the U.S.

As opposed to "Miss" it is pronounced "Miz" (approximately) - which has the following setback, also quoted from the article:

Unfortunately, as "Ms" is easily misheard as "Miss", it is very common for a woman who has expressed a preference for Ms to be addressed as Miss by mistake. For instance, the following conversation occurs frequently:

A: Hello, Mrs Example? B: Hi, it's actually Ms Example. A: Sorry, Miss Example.

I simply wasn't aware of the difference, and confused "Miss" and "Ms", having learned that the latter abbreviates the former in school, indeed from the Miss who taught English. Well... no longer, effectively since the 1980ies, I learned from the above linked article, that also shows that the usage in fact was proposed 110 years ago this very year, in 1901, in the US:

There is a void in the English language which, with some diffidence, we undertake to fill. Every one has been put in an embarrassing position by ignorance of the status of some woman. To call a maiden Mrs is only a shade worse than to insult a matron with the inferior title Miss. Yet it is not always easy to know the facts...

Now, clearly, what is needed is a more comprehensive term which does homage to the sex without expressing any views as to their domestic situation, and what could be simpler or more logical than the retention of what the two doubtful terms have in common. The abbreviation "Ms" is simple, it is easy to write, and the person concerned can translate it properly according to circumstances. For oral use it might be rendered as "Mizz," which would be a close parallel to the practice long universal in many bucolic regions, where a slurred Mis' does duty for Miss and Mrs alike.

And indeed, while I dislike PC language, I like this usage: Once understood - as I finally do -  it is better than e.g. the Dutch has, because it makes more distinctions and thus leaves fewer ambiguities.

2. Phoenix Rising changes address

The forum about ME/CFS on Phoenix Rising. that figured a lot in the Nederlogs for last year, at least during its first half year, when I wrote quite a lot for it, and then removed myself from it, but that I still follow, will have another web address as of tonight. The new one - I have been told, I suppose correctly - is this

I could say a lot about PR-F, as I tend to abbreviate the Phoenix Rising Forums, which I will leave presently unsaid, except for noting three things in passing:

  1. There are at present - today - 4462 members, of which 837 are active. When I left it in May last year, there were around 2000 members, and about as many active members as now (between 600 and 900, if I recall correctly), many of whom have between June 2010 and September 2010 moved to the other MECFS-forum, from which I have been removed in July, for a reason I will enter into below.

    The brief summary of the numbers is that PR-F doesn't grow as fast as last year, and does not have more active members as last year, but it is currently the largest forum for persons with ME (I think).

  2. The owner Cort Johnson has succeeded in making it a non-profit charitable organization, that he names and describes as follows:

    Phoenix Rising -A non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to improving the lives of people with chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and other neuroendocrineimmune disorders

    The last part of this may turn out mistaken, but does conform to the present WHO
    classification of the disease ME.

  3. As the new address listed above shows, the PR-forums now are called "me/forums",
    which seems to me a correct choice of words, even if the currently most used name
    in the US is "CFS". But many patients, including me, consider this a misnomer, that very well may have been designed to pooh-pooh the disease, and so I agree with the namechange, even if one must keep referring, willy nilly, to "CFS".

    Also, one other change I noticed in the PR-forums is that there are now at least 3 more administrators than there were not so long ago.

Anything more on PR-F?

Well, yes one more remark: I think I have verified to my own satisfaction that advocacy, activism, and rational debate are not very well possible on PR-F, for which one good reason is that all manner of folks get ME/CFS, and write on PR-F, almost always anonymously, and without any website through which they could be better known, and usually without much knowledge of science, medicine, psychology, psychiatry etc., for which see my

But it is a good place for persons with ME to find folks similarly afflicted; to socialize with likeminded persons; and to find information about ME/CFS.

3. Dreambirdie addresses the madness of some "patients"

Last year I have written not only about and for PR-F, but also for ME-F, as I call it, a forum that was started by _Kim_, who was an excellent administrator of PR-F, who was not happy with how things were done there, but was not allowed to discuss it rationally and publicly by the owner of it all, and by a person who calls himself CFS_Since_1998, who appears to have gotten rid of _Kim_ within two weeks, and quite a few others within a month, as detailed e.g. here, in July 2010 and in August 2010:

Especially the last is a rather stunning summary of whom Patricia Carter aka Wildaisy and CFS_Since_1998 aka Braveheart (no not really ) succeeded in driving away from their MECFS-forum, and where one also finds described how Dreambirdie was removed by Wildaisy, who presently has set herself up as "Director" of "The International ME Association":

July 22 (ca): Dreambirdie works very hard to make a video about ME, in which she does not mention the site of Mistress Carter and Master Since, because she thinks - correctly - there is hardly any decent scientific documentation about ME on ME-F, at this point in time. Now Dreambirdie was one of the members with most posts on PR-F, is talented, and is normally a very peaceful Buddhist, with care for all, and no unkind words for any.

Here is the message Mistress Carter (= Wildaisy) sent her, in Dreambirdie's words on PR-F:

        Unfortunately, I am being attacked on the "other forum"
        for providing a link to this site instead of theirs.

              The message Wild Daisy sent you was:

               You don't think for a minute anyone is buying your BS do you?

               Of course, now that all the Good Science people have left PR
               and come to this forum, no one on Cort's forum knows how to
               interpret all the articles in their vast library (which Kim assembled,
               before Cort chased her away).

          I am so exhausted from this kind of nasty. It really sucks.

Thus Dreambirdie, quoting The Fuehrerin Of ME-F.

A few days ago, my own site - this one, where you are reading this or downloaded this from, which may in fact come from two different places - was mentioned on PR-F, in the underlined link

Originally Posted by Ecoclimber
Apparently, someone else is not to happy about the situation and knows some behind the scenes information on the people involved.

The lying, dishonest owners of ME-F

OMG! What a drama! I hate to say it, but this is EXACTLY the kind of thing that will help perpetuate the image of CFS patients as psych cases.

It would be funny, if it wasn't so horribly pathetic...

Well... I hope Dreambirdie is not tarring me with the same brush as the owners of ME-F, but I don't really mind much, because I clearly am different from anyone I know with ME and have the academic degrees in - i.a. - psychology, acquired with ME, that should show that my madness, if any, is not like that of others, if my site doesn't show that, at least to those who are truly intelligent.

But I do want to quote some things from earlier Nederlogs that show, I think quite clearly, why Patricia Carter aka Wildaisy and CFS_Since_1998 seem very bad news for me and ME, and worthy of distrust, disbelief and skepticism. I quote three items, and could quote many more:

A. Patricia Carter aka Wildaisy calls for poisoning bloodbanks:

on: July 04, 2010, 11:30:51 PM
My feverish brain has been hard at work, and it has come up with an idea.  Since the CDC says this illness we have does not exist, and the XMRV retrovirus does not exist, and therefore no warning is necessary for us not to give blood, how about we call their bluff?

Suppose people with CFS coordinate a day to go give blood.  Suppose each person gets videotape of himself or herself giving blood, and puts those videotapes, in a bunch, on Youtube. 

The drawbacks are that most of us have low blood volume, and it would be a real sacrifice for us to give up a pint of our blood.  The second drawback is, of course, that we do not want our blood to cause another person to develop this horrendous illness.  It is our belief that our blood might be likely to cause infection in a recipient.

For the first problem, I have no solution. Who among us can spare a pint of blood?

For the second, another person has suggested this solution.  Suppose after we videotape ourselves giving blood, we then present a packet of papers containing the WPI 10-9-2009 paper and the CDC paper, explaining that we believe our blood contains deadly material which may cause infection with ME/CFS.  Would they still use that blood?  And further, we can videotape their reactions.

How do you feel about this suggestion?

I did not feel well about this, as I explained briefly, since at the time I was almost wholly dysfunctional because of a heath-wave in Amsterdam, which is one of the things I don't handle well at all with ME:

B. "Eric Johnson from I&I" as neo-Nietzschean Wessely/Reeves propounder

There was someone on PR-F who called himself "Eric Johnson" (like the wellknown advocate and ME-patient Erik Johnson) who was allowed by Patricia Carter aka Wildaisy and CFS_Since_1998 to publish reams of insane baloney to the effect that Wessely and Reeves are completely right about ME/CFS-patients, as were Beard and McEvedy, besides revealing a very ugly side to this "Eric Johnson":

I think CCC-defined CFS equals neurasthenia, and I think some non-CCC CFS cases are also the same disease. But I can't prove either, of course. I am not 100% confident about neurasthenia, rather much less than 100%. 70%?

I read/skimmed some of the old books on neurasthenia by Beard(?) or whoever it was that originated that diagnosis in the late 19th century. They are on google books. I couldn't find reference to post-exertional exacerbation in the neurasthenia literature, despite finding extensive descriptions of symptoms. If someone can find this smoking gun then I would be much more confident that neurasthenia is CFS.

Also, while I'm agnostic and basically a Nietzschean (which makes it pretty hard to be a christian), I suspect that the partial eclipse of the christian faith and world order may have been the largest cause of fascism and bolshevism. They each (separately) furnished a trans-personal and trans-mortal meaning of existence, to replace the eclipsed christian one.

And so on and on and on and on. I tried to move Patricia Carter aka Wildaisy - meanwhile having found that CFS_Since_1998 has no morality or conscience I can see - to stop this nutty nonsense, but she claimed that she lacked administrators, which was just a lousy excuse to let mr. Johnson rave on and on:

You understand of course, I am speaking of neuroses solely as uninterpreted raw phenomena, with no etiology implied. Perhaps the term neuroses is too encrusted with the follies of the generations of man, and someone can suggest a different word.

Many people can sense neurotic phenomena keenly, they can see perfectly clearly that these are commoner in CFSers, and I imagine that you won't dissuade them even if you want to do so. So, I don't *raise* the topic, but if it ever comes up, which it does, I do not deny it.

There was one paper I actually sort of admired (grudgingly) about stress contributing to MS. It entirely avoided retrospective subjective ascertainment of stress. It simply examined whether there was any correlation between one of a person's children having died (a 100% objective, ascertainable event) and the risk of that person later getting MS (multiple sclerosis). There was a two-fold (or so) elevation of risk. Still, there could be possible confounds.

I concluded from this that Patricia Carter aka Wildaisy and CFS_Since_1998 either are CDC-paid folks or are utter nutters, and still think so: You just do not publish this sort of rot - and there was much, much more of the same or worse quality - if you want to help patients with ME against Reeves and Wessely; you do publish this manner of rot if you want to help Reeves and Wessely.

Indeed, I got quite angry and wrote this

after which CFS_Since_1998 removed me from his and Patricia Carter's site, accusing me of the many things he did:

C. I get accused of the evil Patricia Carter and CFS_Since_1998 did:

A few months later, the moral degenerates CFS_since_1998 and moderator Flo Benson, known as Advocate on Phoenix Rising, had the sickening cheek to accuse me in the followng terms:

cfs since 1998 [Administrator]

Maarten was banned permanently after ignoring the rules despite repeated attempts by email to ask him to follow them. He kept reposting forum messages on his blog (i.e., violating copyright as well as trust and privacy) and even forum members' pictures. I'm sure he likes it that way because he kept telling us that he wasn't capable of being around people (us) so much less intelligent than him, and wasn't going to participate anymore anyway.

M: What is in red is a lie, but then CFS_since_1998 apparently finds writing falsehoods and deceptions a nice passtime (Slaughterhouse 11)

Flo [Moderator] (Advocate on PR-F)

When this forum was smaller, some people posted photos of themselves in a thread in the lounge here. I did not like it when Maarten copied those photos and put them on his own website.

I did no such thing: It were Patricia Carter and Awol who asked their members to put their pictures on line, and it was I who protested this, knowing full well how sick and sadistic bureaucrats may be, and how dangerous ME/CFS can be for its patients in England, the US and Holland.

So... if you want to cooperate with Patricia Carter aka Wildaisy and CFS_Since_1998 you should now know what manner of persons these are: I would not trust them AT ALL, since I do not trust them AT ALL.

And now THESE folks are behind what they are pleased to call "The International ME Association"?! See

for my take on that: At the very best, they are incompetents who want to play "Director" and "CEO" and such in something chartered, since "Many folks like to lead, if only a flock of sheep" (Sancho Panza).

If these are the folks to lead patients with ME, patients with ME will be lead nowhere but into more misery, pain and discrimination - I say very confidently, at nearly 61, as a psychologist and philosopher with medically diagnosed ME since 1989, and ME since January 1, 1979.

P.S. Corrections have to be made later.
-- 25 mar 2011: I did correct the new webaddress of PR-F, for which see also

As to ME/CFS (that I prefer to call ME):

1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS (pdf)

3. Hillary Johnson

The Why

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf)
5. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

6. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
7. Paul Lutus

Is Psychology a Science?

8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)

Short descriptions:

1. Ten reasons why ME/CFS is a real disease by a professor of medicine of Harvard.
2. Long essay by a professor emeritus of medical chemistry about maltreatment of ME.
3. Explanation of what's happening around ME by an investigative journalist.
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understands ME is an organic disease
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter of one's beliefs:
   "it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence".
7. A space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.

    "Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!

No change, no pause, no hope! Yet I endure.
I ask the Earth, have not the mountains felt?
I ask yon Heaven, the all-beholding Sun,
Has it not seen? The Sea, in storm or calm,
Heaven's ever-changing Shadow, spread below,
Have its deaf waves not heard my agony?
Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!
     - (Shelley, "Prometheus Unbound") 

    "It was from this time that I developed my way of judging the Chinese by dividing them into two kinds: one humane and one not. "
     - (Jung Chang)


See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources

Maarten Maartensz (M.A. psy, B.A. phi)

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